When I was a kid, I used to watch re-runs of Bewitched, a popular television show of the 1960’s. It featured a woman who was a witch (she used her powers for good) who married a mortal, Darren, who worked at an advertising agency. His boss is one of the most memorable characters in modern television history, Larry Tate.
He was what you’d expect in an ad man – he spoke with confidence, energy, and optimism. But he was always ready to throw Darren under the bus, and always quick to tell a client he or she is right and great and smart. His loyalty was not to truth or ethics – just to make money. He would lie with a smile and bullshit with conviction. He gave the industry of advertising a bad name, but he was funny and lovable. We all wanted not to be swindled by a Larry Tate, but we also couldn’t help admire how he could always play both sides of the fence and never fall.
What did we learn about Larry Tate’s style that is applicable to your book marketing efforts in 2014?
1. Always make the client or customer feel good. Remember, the customer is always right – and you should remind him of that as well.
2. Convince someone to work with you because you offer a hard-working, creative voice.
3. Business gets done through the relationships we forge.
4. People will do business with you if they like you.
5. Gloss over your holes or weak points and merely highlight your strengths.
6. Speak with conviction even if you don’t have any convictions.
7. Business is won in person and on the phone. No one wins a big deal with a letter – or email.
8. Never underestimate the element of surprise.
9. Be quick to abandon your ties to a viewpoint or your commitment to a person if it means you can make a big sale.
10. When you’re in the business of ideas, information, and personalities; use ideas, information, and personalities to sell your service, product, or book.
If I could meet any fictional TV character I’d want to meet too many to count, but Larry Tate ranks high up there. I don’t idolize him but I can appreciate why he acted as he did. Think about your book marketing style and decide how much Larry Tate you want inside of you.
SPEAKERS TOOLKIT FOR AUTHORS
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014.
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